Foreign Minister (Dr) Tandi Dorji

Five-day quarantine to be removed before the reopening of tourism: Foreign Minister

According to the Chairman of Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB), Foreign Minister (Dr) Tandi Dorji, the mandatory five-day quarantine will be lifted soon before the tourism reopening date.

He said this on Friday and on Sunday the government announced it will be lifted from 4 July.

Lyonpo said that the volume is important, but so is the quality, which is what the ‘high value, low volume’ policy entails. And the government will conduct aggressive marketing and eliminate all bottlenecks in the industry.

“Border opening is not only for tourist, but for the general public. Not only will we allow tourists from Paro and Phuentsholing, but also from Samtse, Gelephu, and Samdrupjongkhar,” Lyonpo said.

TCB announced that the country will be reopening its borders to tourists from 23 September 2022. But it will do so with a renewed focus on the sustainability of the sector.

According to TCB, the tourism sector will be revamped with a focus on three key areas; infrastructure and services, tourist travel experiences, and the environmental impact of the sector.

One of the many changes are new standards for service providers, such as hotels, guides, tour operators, and drivers, who will soon be subjected to a more stringent certification process before they can engage with tourists.

Employees will be required to participate in skills development and re-skilling programs as needed to improve service quality.

The country will raise the Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) for tourists from USD 65 per person per night to USD 200, with the proceeds going toward activities that promote carbon-neutral tourism and the development of a more sustainable tourism sector.

Indian visitors will be charged a previously specified fee of Nu 1,200, which will be revised at a later date.

Simultaneously, the Minimum Daily Package Rate (MDPR) will be removed. The rate refers to the bare minimum that all tourists must pay for an all-inclusive package tour to Bhutan.

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